Your washer is a complicated gizmo. It uses multiple motors to turn water on and off, spin the tub and drain it.
A washer that’s not working can have many causes, and if it’s a serious problem, you’ll likely want to call in a professional appliance repair person. But before that, you can do some simple troubleshooting on your own.
A washing machine’s belt agitates the tub and makes it spin, but over time it can break down. If your washer doesn’t agitate at all, or it’s spinning erratically, you might need to replace the belt.
Find a new belt online or at an appliance parts store and follow the instructions for installing it. Make sure the belt is for your model of washer, and that it’s not too tight or it may not work correctly. Also, wear long-sleeved clothing when working inside the washer since there could be sharp edges. Lastly, loosen the bolts that hold the motor to give yourself some slack to pull the old belt off.
Washing machine motors can overheat for many reasons, most of which can be fixed with basic preventative maintenance and a few tools that most homeowners have. However, if the insulation has burned through (you’ll smell it) it can only be repaired by a professional.
If the washer doesn’t advance to the spin portion of the cycle after filling and agitating, check the lid switch. Modern washers are designed to shut off if the lid is opened as a safety precaution.
Constant overloading the tub or out of balance loads exacerbates wear and tear on the motor and can cause it to overheat. Load the tub evenly and never exceed the manufacturer’s recommended weight of laundry.
If your washer rocks during the spin cycle and makes thumping or banging noises, it’s probably because of an unbalanced load. Redistributing the laundry in the machine to create an even load can solve this problem.
The thumping or thunking sound may also come from the tub bearings, which can be lubricated to fix this problem.
If your washing machine is brand new and making a frighteningly loud or unbalanced noise during the spin cycle, it could be because someone failed to remove the shipping bolts that secure the drum so that vibrations and bumps of transit don’t damage the machine. These bolts can be easily removed and replaced.
Clogged Drain Hose
If the washer drain hose clogs, water will back up from the hose into the home plumbing system. The clog is usually very close and can be easily cleared with a drain snake operated down the standpipe.
Start by flexing the hose to see if you can feel any twists or obvious lumps. If you do, unplug the machine and remove the clogged hose. Then drain the washing machine using a mixture of hot water, baking soda and vinegar (instead of chemical drain clearing products). The mixture works safely to break apart clogs. Then, re-attach the hose and try a drain cycle. If it still doesn’t work, the problem is further upstream and will require professional help.
If your washing machine smells like sewage or fails to drain completely, it is likely that the pump is blocked. You can check that the hose is not kinked or blocked, and that the filter is clean, but further inspection will be needed to determine if something else is blocking the pump from functioning.
Remove the drain pump and inspect it for lint, foreign objects, and other blockages that might prevent it from properly performing its job. You will also want to make sure that the pump motor and pulleys do not show signs of wear or glazing. If they do, it will be necessary to replace them.
If your washing machine is making banging or clanking sounds while running, it is not normal and needs to be fixed immediately. These noises could indicate a simple problem such as a trapped coin or it might be more serious like the driver belt or pump that are broken.
If left unattended, these problems can grow worse and cause expensive damage. Some of these problems can be easily repaired but others may require a professional. Be proactive about your washing machine and test it for balance, load it correctly, check the agitator, drain pump, motor control board, water inlet valve and look for a trapped coin before calling a technician.washing machine repair